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Old 12-21-2010, 03:21 PM   #21
NoNeckJoe
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Default Re: When your agent doesn’t like your script…

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Originally Posted by joe9alt View Post

It's like a being in a bunker in the mountains of Afghanistan with your buddy who's been with you the whole way with the Taliban breathing down both your necks and then deciding it would make sense to call your stoner pal in Encino to see what you should do next because he's good at playing RISK.


good one joe
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Old 12-21-2010, 03:28 PM   #22
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Default Re: When your agent doesn’t like your script…

A most valid point, Joe. But, well, how 'bout another analogy. When your health is ailing and you are searching about for an opinion and your "expert" doctor who's been with you for decades says something your gut instinct disagrees with -- you're saying you should NOT seek a second opinion? Uh, just to give yourself some perspective to put your mind at ease? (...okay, my $.02 is just that. )
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:17 PM   #23
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Default Re: When your agent doesn’t like your script…

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A most valid point, Joe. But, well, how 'bout another analogy. When your health is ailing and you are searching about for an opinion and your "expert" doctor who's been with you for decades says something your gut instinct disagrees with -- you're saying you should NOT seek a second opinion?
If you don't trust your doctor then you look for a new doctor. You don't have the shoeshine boy start prepping you for surgery.
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:42 PM   #24
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Default Re: When your agent doesn’t like your script…

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Originally Posted by joe9alt View Post
If you don't trust your doctor then you look for a new doctor. You don't have the shoeshine boy start prepping you for surgery.
You might ask other medical professionals if you were being paranoid.
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Old 12-21-2010, 05:10 PM   #25
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Default Re: When your agent doesn’t like your script…

Look it’s valiant that a bunch of you want to support the Screenplay Mechanic and I credit him for not charging $5,000 for a read. I credit him for not blatantly charging Mercurioan/Gray-esque levels for what he does. Good job there.

But this is somebody with an agent.

If you just want to pay somebody for an opinion that basically doesn’t mean a whole heluva lot then go for it. It can’t hurt.

Don’t use whatever feedback you pay for as fuel for your argument that your agent must be wrong, though, since he doesn’t see it the way you see it.

Could a lot of you guys be spot on in kind of suspecting the agent is off the grid? Maybe but maybe not. Bob Lazar of ICM is based in NYC I think and he’s a great agent. A bunch of good agents are based in NYC and just make frequent trips out west when they have to…so the guy may actually have a legit agent.

And if he does, you have to remember that this is about a career, not just one script.

If you trust your agent and he’s telling you to stick this one aside then stick it aside and direct it yourself later once you get big as a screenwriter.

If he’s giving you notes and you think they’re not too overtly insane then try to drill into the script and address the notes to a degree or at least make him think you tried to address the notes in order to get him onboard.

Everybody swings and misses sometimes, though.

I signed with my agent based on a particular spec and then followed that up with a wildly different spec that I loved and they didn’t.

They refused to take it out. I was pissed.

They said they signed me based on a script that had particular strengths (character, dialogue, grittiness, etc) that the new spec didn’t exhibit.

They didn’t want to risk exposing what they viewed as inferior work and damaging producers’ and execs’ opinion of me and my work – because they had previously worked hard to shape that opinion and make sure it was a positive.

They were protecting my career. I was pissed at the time and wound up firing the manager who guided me to write that second spec but in hindsight, I’m glad my agents did what they did.

A crappy agent would have blasted it out to 200 places and then been done with me after it didn’t sell.

A good agent is in it for the long haul and has a well thought out vision for your career.

A good agent will stand up to you when they need to, too.

Whether or not you have a good agent is for you to decide.
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Old 12-21-2010, 05:14 PM   #26
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Default Re: When your agent doesn’t like your script…

I'm going to clarify that I'm not talking necessarily about paying anyone for their opinion. I always advocate asking other writers over paying anyone.

Plenty of writers have other screenwriters look at their scripts before they send them to the rep. nothing wrong with that. And if other trusted writers agree this script is great, you know your rep may not have the right grasp on the film industry. If other writers give you a lot of suggestions on changes, you know your rep is steering you in the right direction.

There is nothing wrong with getting an outside opinion to make sure you're on the right track.
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Old 12-21-2010, 05:17 PM   #27
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Default Re: When your agent doesn’t like your script…

Thanks for everyone’s responses. This has turned into an interesting discussion and hopefully others can learn from it.

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Originally Posted by thatwritergirl View Post
If he does rep screenwriters and knows the market, etc., then ask him what the weak points are? Does he think the script isn't ready? Does he know you've had a positive response to the query?

You *may* be too close to the work to objectively evaluate it. And while you may have folks looking to read based on a query, if you send a script that's not yet up to snuff, you lose a good opp for a sale and/or a relationship.
I haven’t had the chance yet to talk extensively about the weak parts in the script, so I’m hoping that he’s willing to give it a second chance after I do some major work to it. It’s just my impression right now is that he doesn’t think it’s worth pursuing. Which I can understand, because like you said I don’t want to send out the script to these opportunities unless it’s my best writing.

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Unless I missed it, an important question hasn't been answered here. Is your agent right? I mean, did he point out his concerns with the script, and if he did, do you agree with his concerns? Let's say you do, then why aren't you focused on re-writing right now? If you do not agree, did you counter his concerns with optional solutions or even back-up your own convictions with him? What happened with that conversation?
Again, we just talked shortly so I’m only really going off initial impressions. We are going to talk further after the holidays and I’m hoping that he gives me lots of notes and tips for improvement. He certainly knows what he’s talking about and I highly respect his opinion. So I’m going to take every concern he has seriously and implement as many as the changes he suggests. However, I also want to make sure that my voice and artistic vision isn’t abandoned.

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What I see here is a simple communication breakdown. Instead of just running out against his wishes and shooting scripts out, how about stepping back, looking over his concerns and addressing those first? You don't have to agree with them, but if you don't, you need to give this guy your respect by at least telling him you do not agree but want to make it the best script you can.

The answers I've been reading in this thread so far have been very black & white, when the actual problem hasn't been addressed yet. I'd slow down here for a moment and analyze the concerns he has. He is your agent for a reason.
He’s well aware that I was pitching a few production companies and actors and when I told him about the positive responses he was impressed.

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Not to mention, those that requested your script based on a logline can wait. Trust me, they already forgot about you. Fix your script, or decide it's the best it can be. If you decide it's the best it can be, tell your agent and take it from there. Don't jerk him around and definitely don't work behind his back. If you do, you need to ask yourself if this is the best agent for you.
I’m glad you said this! One of my biggest concerns is that those who requested the script are going to wonder what’s taking me so long to get back. But you’re right, they’ve got other crap on their minds and I shouldn’t feel so much pressure.

Last edited by Writr : 12-21-2010 at 05:19 PM. Reason: Misc.
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Old 12-21-2010, 05:59 PM   #28
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Default Re: When your agent doesn’t like your script…

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Originally Posted by joe9alt View Post
And if he does, you have to remember that this is about a career, not just one script.
Thanks for sharing your similar story and for reminding me of this ^. I have been sort of forgetting that he's thinking about my entire career and not just this particular script. Which is a sign of a good agent.
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Old 12-21-2010, 06:07 PM   #29
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Default Re: When your agent doesn’t like your script…

Like others have said, look at this script objectively -- if your agent doesn't want to send it out, he could be doing you a favor. On the other hand...

...if you truly believe in the script, try to get it set up yourself. My manager didn't warm to one of my horror scripts, so I got it to a horror director that I really respect...and he signed on. Now, the director's manager is making the rounds with the script, scored a bunch of meetings, etc. Still in circulation, so we'll see if it has a happy ending. And my manager had no problems with me doing this --

-- after all, why should he? If it gets set up, he still gets paid for not having to do anything on this particular script! And I absolutely trust my manager's opinions -- he's very knowledgeable with the market and story sense/development. BUT, anybody can misjudge a script's potential at some point.
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Old 12-21-2010, 06:18 PM   #30
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Default Re: When your agent doesn’t like your script…

Writr, I must say, for someone I don't recognize around here I'm impressed with your listening skills. By now a new poster would have been firing back his retorts because he knew coming in what he wanted and really didn't want opinions at all. You on the other hand, are being very open to suggestion and might I add, learning from others.

Take note, newbs, THIS is how you take advantage of the forums.

Bravo.
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